The Simpsons - 05/16/04

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by WillG, May 16, 2004.

  1. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Bart inadvertantly moons an American flag. The Simpsons become outcasts in Springfield and the U.S. itself. They are imprisoned, only to escape and go to France. They then come back to America as part of "The one group that is always welcome in America" Immigrants without ID.

    It seems that this episode is satirizing the neo-patriotism that America went through in the wake of 9/11. But once again, it seems like another episode that is past its time as the sentiment shown in this episode is almost the complete opposite as what it is like today. A few funny things but I did not think it was all that great.
     
  2. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    Started off strong until they got to the actual point of the episode, then it fell apart.

    They should stop trying to do current affair humor, they just can't keep up with shows like South Park.
     
  3. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I thought it was absolutely great. One of the best of the year. It did well what the Simpsons always did well -- subversive satire.

    I also love that it's politics were the opposite of that of the Fox Network. The Simpsons is perhaps the only show on TV where the network needs the show more than the show needs the network, and because of that can give a perspective beyond the network party line. The only other show I can think of in that position is The Sopranos.



    I completely disagree. There is a conformity of thought and behavior these days being reinforced by the government and the corporations that run the major media sources. Last night's episode was perhaps the most relevant in years.
     
  4. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    I'm with Sam on this one. It was well-timed for its subject matter, and it kept me laughing all throughout. I am continually surprised that Rupert Murdoch doesn't a) boot the "Simpsons" team to another network despite its ratings and b) have them meet with "accidents". I have the feeling that were it not for ratings-bait dreck like "American Idol," Gail Berman (Fox TV head) would be out on her ass for letting something like this go on air.
     
  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    You're under the impression that Rupert Murdoch is terribly political. He's actually just mercenary, and has found success with drum-beating, flag-waving rhetoric. If what sold papers on the cheap were to change tomorrow, his holdings would do a political about-face without blinking an eye.
     
  6. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Was this the season closer?

    Also...where the hell has Mr. Burn's been this year? I have noticed way few stories even with a quick peek at Monty, who is one of my favorites?

    Another good episode I need to add. Loved the line, and living here found it totally correct, in it's line about Charlotte, NC having changed it name in the past from Hitlerville...was perfect.
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    The Simpsons go to jail?
    Bart and Lisa try to get out of getting innoculation shots?
    Homer traps the kids in the car by locking the doors?

    Sound familiar? [​IMG]
     
  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    This episode made me sick. Not only was it unfunny and poorly constructed, but its attempts at "satire" were based on the biggest, smelliest red herring of them all; that this is a dictatorship. It was offensive mainly because they make no discernible distinction between principled patriotism and zealotry. The episode had all the subtlety of being hit on the head with a sledge hammer. I hope I never see it again, as they really crossed the line.

    Chuck, your comment about Charlotte NC being "Hitlerville" is really offensive. A friend of my family was born and raised there.
     
  9. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Matt,

    Did you just report your on post???
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Oops. Wrong post. Discard any of the "reports on", but keep a sharp eye on this thread.

    I have heard people claim they are being suppressed by the government, even at my workplace, and still not go to prison. This is the red herring. My dad watched the tape with me later that evening and agreed with my opinion. Mind you, we don't always agree on things.
     
  11. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Burns was featured in the recent "Pieman" episode. I can see how it might be getting hard for the writers to keep working Mr Burns into an episode. Some of his recent stories invloving the Simpsons I thought were stretching things a little bit. I do agree though, I've always loved Burns as well, so I do hope they can come up with good ways to keep him in stories.
     
  12. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    The problem with The Simpsons doing current subjects is that there is a nine month lead time from when the script is done to when the animation is finished. Of course seeing Michael Moore and Bill Clinton in jail is over the top but this IS The Simpsons... what in this show isn't over the top?

    Overall I thought this episode was hit and miss and certainly would have been more poignant when it was written than it is today.
     
  13. Marc Fedderman

    Marc Fedderman Second Unit

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    The season finale features a Burns-Lisa feud.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Furthermore, they forgot that people who criticize left-Liberal celebrities have free speech rights, too.

    The short-lived rebirth of patriotism happened because this country was attacked. It made people think about things. Hell, US senators got together and sang "God Bless America" on the steps of Congress. People put aside their differences to mourn the victims of a tragedy. None of this would happen today.

    These talentless hack writers never once acknowledged that there are people out there who fly the flag and really mean it. They could have distinguished between true patriotism and zealotry but failed miserably.

    WillG is right on the money so far.
     
  15. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Matthew...sorry if my comment offends you, but I must tell you...

    Being a low person on the totum pole of local government in Charlotte, NC, I must tell you that I do see many things wrong and, the powers that be, being very much against the citizens of this fine city. There are many good people that live here yes, but many dumb ass people that have put into power that have little regard for the people that put them there. I believe that it is in this regard of which the comment was made.
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ok, of course the ep was over the top and Michael Moore isn't really in jail. Derf. The point is that there is a strong of nationalism (which is different than patriotism) which clouds the national debate. When we have a lot of powerful people who command large audiences preface each statement with "This is the greatest country in the world" and claiming that those with different opinions "hate America," the sentiment expressed in the ep is valid.
     
  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    na·tion·al·ism n.

    1.Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
    2.The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.
    3.Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination

    (Houghton Mifflin)

    Well, I believe this is the greatest country in the world, but I do not believe anyone who disagrees is anti-American. I believe people who hate this country, stereotype its citizenry, and gloat at our setbacks are anti-American. Our leaders have the right to their opinions, and quite frankly, I agree with them.

    This show has expressed some profoundly anti-American sentiments in the past (Homer wearing a T-shirt that said "Try and Stop Us"), I had no right to expect otherwise from people whom I imagine flying the flag offends them more than desecrating it. I doubt the writers would ever criticize the nationalism of any other countries.

    Do you know how close I came to actively boycotting the show and everything associated with it?

    Nationalism is not inherently bad, but it is how it is directed that is the problem. The hacks here have falsely equated it with fascism. The fact that I cannot, and will not, have these people put in jail disproves their own theory.

    Its utterly cartoonish treatment of a sensitive and complex subject bothers me.
     
  18. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    But let's not pretend it's so one sided. Look at the Hollywood communiuty, for instance. Many powerful people that command large audiences. Most of them on the other side politically of what the Simpsons was lampooning last night. Some of which who are just as extreme in hatred and bashing of the current Govenment as those on the other side who preach that if you don't wave a flag, you're a commie! That is what my problem is with last night's episode. The idea that everyone is a patriotic zealot just is not true anymore (not that it was back then either, but it would have made better sense back then when the Patiotic spirit was more universal after 9/11)
     
  19. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, of course not. The Simpsons is satire, though - part of that is taking an idea to its illogical extreme.
     
  20. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    But The Simpsons is cut-rate satire, at least nowadays. It is provincial, arrogant, derivative, creaky, cuts corners and is sometimes utterly embarassing to watch. Why are their no works critical of this show's morally corrupt ideology?

    Even Futurama, from the same creator, was more nuanced.
     

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